For qigong exercises to benefit your health, you need to get the chi flowing and not be thinking excessively (like, how am I doing?) or have tense muscles. That is why, at least for beginners, it is important to make the qigong meditations and movements simple. Having fewer things to think about helps you focus your attention in a more relaxed manner on your body, the alignments and the correct directions of movement of your torso and limbs. The fewer things that you have to think about, the better. You can learn all of the movements of Tai chi, but if you really don’t understand the movements and the internal aspects that it can teach you, you are just dancing. That is why I strongly recommend standing qigong practice (zhan zhuang), which is a totally non-moving meditation practice. It helps you develop a strong internal awareness and it helps align your posture, while you are just standing there. That practice is reinforced by seemingly simple movements like doing swings, cloud hands and spinal stretches as recommended by Bruce Frantzis in his Opening the Energy Gates book (see the book recommendations post). These simple movements have the basics for complex movements that are seen in Tai chi, such as turning into the inguinal crease from the waist and various aspects of twisting the tissue around the arms and legs. These are internal movements that are not apparent to the casual observer. The subtle physical and energetic aspects of these nei gung practices can be developed over time with regular, correct practice. So before you take off and learn a bunch of Tai chi movements, make sure that you understand some of the fundamentals first so you can get more return (for healing or improved energy) for your investment of time.
Making Qigong Exercises Simple, Fundamentals First
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